top of page
  • Andrew Thacker


Pt. 3/5 : Two Views Or The Chinese Consumer.

The natural nationalism of Chinese society is a sensitive and sometimes confusing subject for international brands. Repercussions can be swift and hard.

Aside from providing a better experience, more choice and quality, it’s important to keep in mind that Chinese society and the ergo, the individual consumer is very proud of their country and culture.

For example, H&M's sales in China were down 23% for the second quarter of 2021, compared to the same time last year. Major Chinese e-commerce platforms including, Pinduoduo and the Alibaba-owned Taobao have since removed many offending brands from their online stores. H&M’s physical stores remain open but according to the BBC, their locations have even been delisted from the apps of Chinese cab-hailing companies.

In July, China’s customs website also issued a warning notice which listed items imported by companies including Nike, H&M, Zara and Gap that contain “dyes or harmful substances” which may be absorbed by the body and endanger a child’s health. This caused the brands to receive further criticism and boycott from netizens. 

Chinese consumers are particularly sensitive but also very appreciative of kindness.

Back in January 2020, several Japanese cities donated face masks to their Chinese sister cities during China’s worst period of the pandemic. All netizens were very touched, expressing their gratitude online and promising to visit Japan once the pandemic is over. And China returned the favour 2 months later when Japan was facing medical supply shortages. 

National pride is deeply ingrained.
Chinese consumers are extremely vocal.

As a nation and a people that has struggled through so much together, national pride is deeply ingrained. Chinese consumers are also extremely vocal about it. Essentially it is not hard to navigate, as long as you are respectful of the Chinese culture, stay neutral on political divides and not behave in a two-faced manner meaning promote contrasting messaging on Weibo and Instagram; you need to be as authentic in China as you are in your home country. Chinese shoppers welcome brands from all over the world.

An expression of this national pride, as coined by Jing Daily in 2021 are the Chinese Culture Consumers:

CCCs [chinese cultural consumers] are embracing homegrown culture and heritage, and international luxury brands are tapping into the growing awareness of and interest in Chinese artists, designers, and traditions.

Stay tuned. Part 4/5 to follow next week...


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page